The advent of IoT and predictive maintenance models, combined with intelligent field service automation capable of managing real time data feeds from the field, is not only making service a more strategic discipline within organisations globally, but also forcing a rethink on how to attract and retain the right talent for frontline service teams as the spine of the organisation.
Business models are placing greater emphasis on outcomes rather than products, IoT is shifting service from reactive to proactive to predictive, and service departments are transitioning from cost centres to profit centres – with the service techs role on the receiving end, said Patrice Eberline, Vice President, Global Customer Transformation for ServiceMax. For example, rather than trouble-shooting an isolated piece of equipment, techs could soon be trouble-shooting entire buildings, particularly as the service guarantee moves from quick response and resolution to guarantees of climate throughout the year.
Providing the latest in technology to service teams – and the resulting benefits to customers – will not only lead to better and more efficient service performance, but will also show potential candidates that your company is the place for growth and opportunity. Managing this generationally diverse service organisation will also force some cultural modifications. Engendering an open, communicative, and proactive culture of communication into your organisation to incent optimum performance will become imperative.
Career pathing will move from more traditional directed and pre-defined paths, to those where the employee shares the drivers seat and select experiences to enrich their work life and thus their work-life balance, added Eberline. Rather than linear options for growth, service organisations will be rewarded by using opt-in, collaborative, and networked approaches that encourage employees to find their own unique path of experiences and roles.